benzy_fish benzy_fish
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  • Posted on: 9/9/2018 23:25
Zebra Nerite Snail... DEAD OR ALIVE - But perhaps not the obvious answer... #1

I'm new here so apologies if I'm duplicating anything.. I suspect this question has been asked MANY times before but this is a slightly odd situation as far as my knowledge goes.

We have a zebra snail who has not moved for ages... I've actually lost track of exactly how long it has been. Months at best... We've done the smell test, and there is no discernible odour... and he still seems to be 'in there'...

What do we think? Dead or alive? How long can these guys 'hibernate' for???
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2018 15:06
Re: Zebra Nerite Snail... DEAD OR ALIVE - But perhaps not the obvious answer... #2
If it doesn't smell it may still be alive but in hibernation. If that's what it is, the usual reasons are either high nitrate in the tank or too low a temperature. So, what temperature is the water and what is the nitrate level?
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2018 16:50
Re: Zebra Nerite Snail... DEAD OR ALIVE - But perhaps not the obvious answer... #3
I do empathise, as I had a similar experience about 6 weeks ago with not knowing whether or not a nerite snail was dead or alive. On the basis of my own experience during that time, I would advise:
* slightly pushing the snail to see if there is any grip - snails which are alive are usually gripping onto a surface [even if there is no grip (which was the case in my own experience - and the snail kept turning upside down with no effort to right itself), this does not necessarily mean the snail is dead - the company (online) that I bought him from did advise me that "it’s not unusual for snails to retract in their shell for prolonged time" but didn't specify for how long];
* continuing the "sniff test" - I found that, 4 days after I had suspicions the nerite had died, there was a very faint smell only detectable up close when the snail was 1" from my nose [proof of death occurred the following day when I removed him from his temp home and his operculum actually fell right out - I'd read elsewhere that this often happens post-mortem].

However, the key tests as to whether this is hiberation or not are exactly as Fishlady describes - temperature and nitrate levels.